Last year, when General Growth started dumping its South Street Seaport property
, we noticed that they were "mired in debt." We didn't know the half of it: the company just entered the biggest real estate bankruptcy in U.S. history
, pleading to discharge $27 billion in debt. They have just a few billion more than that in assets, and the sell-off is going to be hellacious, particularly in this real estate environment. The Staten Island Mall is one of General Growth's properties
, and if you shudder to think what will become of it, shudder too for the Seaport -- General Growth still hasn't unloaded it, though last month they were telling people about the great offers
they'd been getting on it. The company has many other significant holdings
, including Boston's Fanueil Hall Marketplace. On the bright side, whatever low-rent cataclysm the Seaport will become when Family Dollar Stores takes it over will drive away the damn tourists; on the dark side -- well, same thing.